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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 14 (Volume 1, Chapter 14) | Summary

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Summary

Over dinner, Mr. Collins spends a great deal of time describing the woman who has helped him establish his career in the clergy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. He glowingly describes the widow and her daughter, who is apparently rather sickly. As after-dinner entertainment, he attempts to read a sermon to the family, but Lydia interrupts him.

Analysis

Mr. Collins proves himself to be a ridiculous person, a nuisance, and not especially intelligent. His bragging about Lady Catherine and his insults of the household at Longbourn make him seem rather pitiful. Although he makes a living through his work as a clergyman, he is beholden to Lady Catherine.

For the Bennets, he is an unwelcome intruder who, through no real merit, will inherit Longbourn. His presence in the novel is Austen's way of pointing out the unfairness of England's inheritance laws, particularly toward women.

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